Australian paramedic recruits arrive in Saskatoon – Saskatoon |

Paramedics from overseas have arrived in Saskatoon as Medavie Health Services West looks to expand its roster.

Angela Sereda with Medavie Health Services West said there is a shortage of paramedics across Canada, so they started looking in Australia.

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“We decided to put efforts into our recruitment mission. We partnered with the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics,” Sereda said.

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She said they went to Australia with the college roughly five months ago, interviewing over 40 people from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

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She said in Saskatchewan only about 50 to 100 advanced-care paramedics are being trained a year, compared to Australia which is churning out about 3,000 a year.

“They have the complete opposite problem that we have, they have too many paramedics and not enough jobs.”

“The Ministry of Health has funded an additional 100 paramedic student positions in Saskatchewan, so while we wait for the current Saskatchewan paramedic students to finish their schooling we had to look internationally. Prior to COVID-19 we had several students from Australia do their paramedic training ride alongs here in Saskatoon so we have a strong relationship with their training facilities,” Troy Davies, MHS West Director of Public Affairs, said.

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Kate Fyander, one of the new recruits out of Australia, said she arrived in Saskatoon when the city was plunged into -48 cold.

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“I haven’t felt anything cooler than -5 before then, so it was a big change,” Fyander said.

She said Saskatoon is a beautiful city and people have been very friendly.

“We wanted to live overseas for a little while and we wanted to go to Canada.”

Medavie Health Services West said that this was the first time in 48 years that they’ve had international recruits starting in Saskatoon. More recruits are on the way over the next few months, but Medavie said seven recruits started work Thursday.

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